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Friends reunited

Posted on 21 July 2009  - 12:00

Jamie O'Hara hopes to lock horns with friend and former team-mate Charlie Lee when we face Peterborough United tonight.

Friends reunited

Jamie O'Hara hopes to lock horns with friend and former team-mate Charlie Lee when we face Peterborough United tonight (Tuesday, July 21).

The pair came through our Academy together and were key members of the team that reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2005.

A season later and they helped our reserves to the Barclays Premier Reserve League South title.

Charlie, a versatile defender or midfielder, made it to the bench in both the UEFA Cup and Premier League in 2006-07 but never quite took the next step to make his first team debut.

He eventually departed for Posh in the summer of 2007 and it's been a tale of success since - back-to-back promotions sees the club line-up at Championship level for only the second time in their history while Charlie has been a huge hit, a favourite with the fans and scored the goal that clinched automatic promotion last season.

Jamie, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength since making his debut at Portsmouth in December, 2007.

He's a Spurs and England Under-21 regular and has now played over 50 games for us in all competitions, scoring a healthy six goals from midfield.

He says it's no surprise Charlie has blossomed at Posh. "I always knew Charlie was going to be a top player," he said.

Jamie

"He got released but everyone in the game knew he was good enough.

"In the end it's worked out well for him because he's gone away, hooked up with a good club, played his football and been a success.

"He's a great lad who had the disappointment of being released but has gone away and showed what he can do.

"I wish him all the best and hopefully I'll be up against him. I'm sure we'll have a bit of banter - we always did.

"We came through together and played in the same side every week from the Under-17s. I'm good friends with Charlie and we basically grew up playing football together at Tottenham.

"It will be great to see him again."

Jamie, now 22, insists Charlie's story can act as an inspiration for players released from Spurs or any top-flight club.

"A lot of lads can take heart from what he's done," added Jamie.

"It can be difficult and I know myself, I've had some tough times. I went on loan to Millwall (in 2007) and wasn't really featuring but you have to believe in yourself and don't give up. You have to believe you are good enough to play.

"It's all about taking chances. My dad always said to me ‘Jamie, you will get that chance and you have to be good enough to take it'. You have to do that in football because you don't get that many chances at the top level.

"Luckily, I got that chance and took it."

Charlie